Panasonic India today introduced Eluga Arc 2, another phone that makes no bones about being a phone meant to retail at “offline stores.”
But what difference does it make if a phone retails online or offline?
Well, a lot actually.
Priorities of both – the customers and sellers – on the online and offline platform are very different. When a company plays to the offline galleries, it has to keep interests of retailers and distributors at the forefront. The added cost of distribution partner’s cut and logistics make an offline offering a bit more expensive as compared to a similar ‘specced’ phone that is retailing online.
Selling offline also involves decisions like forfeiting trending chips like, say, Snapdragon 615 or Helio X10 for low-power options like the MT6753 only to avoid heating issues, as Indian consumers are very sensitive to phones that heat and such complaints could be a massive headache for retail partners.
Offline dynamics would never make sense to spec-junkies or perhaps people who primarily breathe the Online air, but the fact is that the Offline Market is significantly bigger than the online one ( which varies between 20 to 25 percent).
That should explain why the Eluga Arc 2 doesn’t look as enticing as some online exclusives on paper. It’s just targeting offline retail space where people will get to examine it first hand before they choose to buy it. And Panasonic is betting on an average consumer liking what he sees.
2.5D Glass On Both Front and Back
Understandably, the looks take center stage. The Eluga Arc 2 is a slim (7.6mm) and compact, 5-inch display handset that relies on the tried and trusted metal-sandwiched-between-two-glass-layers design. Interestingly, Panasonic has used 2.5D curved glass (that subtly bends at the edges) on both the front and rear surface.
If you do relish design nuances, you are likely to appreciate such subtle, premium touches. At the same time, there is no escaping customary drawbacks associated with Panasonic’s design choices. Like other glass built handsets, the Eluga Arc 2 to wipe off finger grease frequently.
The display, in itself, appears sharp with whites leaning towards colder sides. It also makes room for onscreen navigation keys. Another attribute that Panasonic talked about is the ‘Outdoor Mode’ which pumps brightness all the way up to 500 Nits and boosts visibility when you need to use your phone under direct sunlight.
Not a power horse
On the inside, the hardware isn’t anything inspiring. Panasonic uses a basic 1.3GHz quad-core processor (details unspecified), with 3GB RAM and 32GB internals storage (Approx 24GB available at user end). We don’t expect the chipset to be capable of serious heavy lifting, but the decent amount of RAM and storage should ensure consistent performance in the long run.
Other hardware features include USB OTG support, 4G VoLTE, dual SIM card support, 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, and a modest 2450mAh battery.
Turbo Boost and near-stock software
The software is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. We were glad to see Panasonic opt out of the regular FitHome Launcher for the Eluga Arc 2. The UI is very close to stock Android, with a few added features on top, the most notable being Turbo Boost. Personally, we would take a near stock experience over shoddily built customizations any day.
So, what is Turbo Boost? It is something that allows you to combine both 4G and WiFi speeds for faster download speeds. With TSPs like Reliance Jio fueling data revolution, this sounds like something worth being excited about.
Commenting on the launch, Mr. Pankaj Rana, Business Head – Mobility Division, Panasonic said, “After receiving a tremendous response for Eluga Arc, we are delighted to present the metallic version – Eluga Arc2, in gold and rose gold colour. A perfect blend of innovation and style, the new Eluga Arc2 is made with dual 2.5D curved glass & metal body. The new smartphone has minimal plastic material, providing a seamless convergence of style and performance for consumers. The metallic body also allows the smartphone to withstand the everyday wear and tear. For Panasonic India, it is a step forward to make our consumer’s life smarter, easier and more stylish.”
Panasonic Eluga Arc 2 India price and availability
The new Eluga Arc 2 is already available in Gold and Rose Gold colors (that’s the color of the metal side frame) for a price of 12,290 INR. You can buy it from all major offline stores.
Panasonic Eluga Arc 2 Specifications and Features
|Model name||Panasonic Eluga Arc2|
|Display||12.7 cm(5) HD IPS Display with On-Cell Touch Technology, 2.5D Curved Asahi DragonTrail Glass|
|Chipset||1.3 GHz Quad-core Processor|
|Software||Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)|
|Memory||3GB RAM + 32 GB ROM with expandable Micro SD up to 128 GB|
|Rear camera||8MP with LED Flash|
|Dimensions and weight||144 mm x 72 mm x 7.6 mm ; 147gm|
|Colors||Gold, Rose Gold|
|Connectivity and sensors|
|4G VoLTE, 802.11b/g/n; Wi-Fi Hotspot & Wi-Fi Direct|
|Bluetooth 4.0 & Micro USB 2.0|
|Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Accelerometer|
|Box content||Device inclusive of Battery & Protective Screen Guard on front/back glass, USB Cable, Charger, Earphones, Warranty Card, User Manual & SIM insert pin.|
|Other features||Dual SIMTurbo Download, OTG USB Support, IR Blaster|